Thursday, September 24, 2009

Um, Om, yeah?

Somehow I found myself reviewing the quintessential dude record for Dusted…and really getting into it. Though, like the record, my review took its sweet time getting going. I said:

The film Lawrence of Arabia masterfully conveys the size of its subject – the desert – through extended panoramic shots. You see, for instance, miles of blank sand and, somewhere, in the corner, a tiny black dot moves. Time passes and you see that the black dot is a man on camel back, and even so, it may be a minute or more before the character enters the scene fully enough to speak or act. It may help to think along these panoramic lines as you listen to Om’s long opening track “Thebes,” which takes shape as if out of a heat mirage, a drone coalescing into a repetitive loop of minor key notes. Two minutes pass before any vocals can be discerned, six before a drum kit gets any use, and eight and a half before the players crank the amplifiers for a Sabbath-like drone. The piece enters your ear space very slowly, in stages, as if coming from a long way away. As in Lawrence of Arabia, there is quite a lot of waiting for things to happen, and this is, possibly, why some people find Om tedious, others hallucinatory and compelling. After all, one person’s cinematic is another person’s boring.


“Cremation Ghat II”


Jean-Luc Garbo said...

The quintessential dude record? I wish it was Om. I get stuck in towns where it's often Kid Rock instead. I'm glad you reviewed it because I really liked the last one and was worried that the personnel change would be for the worse, but you allayed my fears. I'm looking forward to it now. Too bad DC couldn't roll it out a few months earlier.

jenniferpkelly said...

Certain kind of dude, I guess. It seemed very male to me, while I was reviewing it, but yes, you're right, probably not for the guys who hang out at the auto repair shop.

I like the new drummer. Other people don't. You'll have to judge for yourself, I suppose.

Jean-Luc Garbo said...

If I walked into a garage and they were blasting Earth or Om, I'd go there out of principle! I love Grails - the last record blew away - so I'm really looking forward to this one.